Editorial: Numbers game, numbers gain

Craig Editorial Board, Jan. to March 2012

  • Al Cashion, community representative
  • Jeff Pleasant, community representative
  • Bryce Jacobson, newspaper representative
  • Bridget Manley, newspaper representative
  • Chris Nichols, community representative
  • Josh Roberts, newspaper representative

Our View

The Craig City Council made a wise decision when it approved making the April 5 election an all-mail ballot. Voter participation was higher than it’s been in years. City voters also deserve kudos for taking part in the election. But, there’s one question for those who didn’t send in a ballot — what stopped you?

Numbers don’t lie, and voter turnout figures from Tuesday’s Craig municipal election spoke loud and clear.

They emphatically stated the Craig City Council made a wise decision earlier this year to change the election’s format to an all mail-in ballot.

It wasn’t exactly a difficult decision — based on embarrassingly low turnout in recent elections, the council wagered voter participation couldn’t get much worse.

Something needed to change, so city officials rolled with it.

The council played the numbers game and came away with a numbers gain, and a significant one at that, on election day.

According to the results released Tuesday, the election had a 51.9-percent turnout among active voters. Of the 3,152 ballots sent to active voters, 1,638 returned a ballot, making Tuesday the most successful city election since 1995.

The Editorial Board applauds the city’s decision to move forward with the mail election, but more importantly, board members thank voters who sent back a ballot.

Voting is not only one of the most fundamental rights we have in a democracy, but also a responsibility.

In recent city elections, the majority of Craig residents have ignored that duty to shape and influence their local government.

That wasn’t the case Tuesday, but only by a

slim margin.

Although participation was better than most years, there were still 1,514 votes left out in the community.

That number is disappointing.

The city went out of its way to make this election easier for the public — a ballot was delivered to voters and those ballots simply needed a little bit of thought and to be dropped in the mailbox.

The election certainly didn’t require much voter time or resources, but it did need some effort, albeit minimal.

One of the few downsides to the election were those voters who didn’t participate, who didn’t exercise their right or fulfill their responsibility.

But, Tuesday was largely a step in the right direction for our city, and one the Editorial Board hopes city officials pursue more in coming years.

And, who knows?

Maybe in the future something can be done to chip away at that voter apathy that apparently still exists, though not as much as it once did.

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